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06/18/2024 07:06 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 28, 2024 02:50 PM
From: Representative Ed Neilson
To: All House members
Subject: Additional Sports Wagering Markets
Although Pennsylvania was one of the first states to authorize sports wagering following the 2018 Supreme Court decision that ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act unconstitutional, our state has one of the more restrictive definitions of what constitutes a sporting event. For example, E-Sports events, which have become increasingly popular in recent years, are not included in our definitions.
Furthermore, the vast majority of the 38 states that offer legal sports betting for their citizens allow their regulatory entities to review and approve different types of sporting events. Our laws do not provide the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) with this authority. These issues came to light a few years ago when there was interest in offering wagers on the National Football League (NFL) draft. Unfortunately, the NFL draft was not specifically referenced as a sporting event in our statutes and the PGCB had no authority to approve the event.
To address these issues, I will be introducing legislation that would authorize wagering on E-Sports events and provide the PGCB with the deference in deciding what Pennsylvania’s sports wagering catalog should look like. This change would not allow for anything and everything to be wagered on in Pennsylvania. Sports wagering operators would still need to adhere to the PGCB’s strict regulations that require sporting events to have an outcome that can be verified, generated by a reliable and independent process, and not affected by any wagers placed. The event must also be conducted in conformity with all applicable laws or regulations.
It is time that we expand our sports wagering laws. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.